AMD Bets on Tri-Core Chips as Quad-Core Market Lags

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Nighthawk, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2007/09/tricore

    When your larger competitor outguns you financially and can crank out
    powerful products at blinding speed, you work with the strengths you
    have. In Advanced Micro Devices' case, that's architecture.

    On Monday, AMD executives confirmed this weekend's rumors and admitted
    that the company will indeed introduce a triple-core microprocessor
    sometime during the first quarter of 2008.

    "We believe that triple core is the right product at the right time to
    serve a broad swatch of market," said AMD vice president Bob Brewer,
    at Monday's briefing in San Francisco.

    AMD stressed the update does not affect its planned launch date for a
    consumer-oriented quad-core chip, codenamed Phenom, which is slated
    for Q4 of this year.

    According to AMD, the the tri-core processor makes sense from both a
    marketing and retail point of view. Due to the slow adoption rate of
    quad-core, as well as the lack of multi-threaded apps that take
    advantage of such processors, AMD is banking on the fact that a
    tri-core processor will offer desktop consumers an attractive
    middle-of-the-road option.

    In particular, Brewer and other AMD executives cited a recent study
    from Mercury Research pointing out that quad-core processors
    represented less than two percent of desktop shipments during the
    second quarter, while dual-core took up the remaining 98 percent.
    Until demand ramps up for quad-core, triple core will serve as
    something of an intermediary, according to AMD. At the same time, the
    company hopes it will also stimulate broader multi-core adoption.

    .......
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. Nighthawk

    whoisthis Guest

    Quad core with 1 faulty core ????
    Cost savings and hype.
     
    whoisthis, Nov 7, 2007
    #2
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  3. Nighthawk

    impossible Guest

    Yes. But then it's kind of a shame to throw the whole die out just for
    that, don't you think? Many perfectly good chips have originated from
    fabrications that didn't quite meet the spec. So long as the chip's
    performance turns out to be better than equivalently clocked dual-cores,
    and assuming the pricxe is right, then AMD will probably have a winner on
    its hands.
    Absolutely. But what's the Intel Quad Core design other than a pair of Dual
    Core's stuck together with some extra cache?
     
    impossible, Nov 7, 2007
    #3
  4. Nighthawk

    thingy Guest

    yeah....I am assuming that due to the size of AMD's die it is way easier
    for them to mount 3 rather than 4 cores on a package........so makes
    them cost competitive....

    I get sick of such hype from vendors, IMHO its often not what consumers
    want but what a vendor wants to sell.

    Still if its better bang for the buck than a dual 6000 upgrade (I'd
    like) and fits an am2 socket motherboard then I will look at
    it....anything that makes Supreme Commander more playable is a plus...

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Nov 7, 2007
    #4
  5. Nighthawk

    Murray Symon Guest

    I think it's pure "one upmanship" marketing. In a world where dual cores
    will be the norm and quad-cores will be expensive high-end machines, a
    triple-core option for little on no increase over a dual core may sway some
    buyers. The same reason you bought a 52x CDROM drive instead of a 48x one.

    Murray.
     
    Murray Symon, Nov 8, 2007
    #5
  6. Nighthawk

    Puddle Guest

    Already there are games that strain the fastest dual cores from Intel.
    Game developers will always push the limits of CPU's and will be quick
    to utlise extra cores. Plus quad cores aren't exactly that expensive,
    what is it about 450 for a quad core? I think you will see the price of
    quad cores come down in the 1st quarter of 2008 also. So maybe for some
    people dual core is overkill and maybe quad core is also, but for some
    quad cores will be used and then onto 8 cores etc etc :)
    Games will just get better and better!
     
    Puddle, Nov 8, 2007
    #6
  7. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    If Intel made a quad-core and one core was defective they could only
    turn it into a dual-core, but AMD's design allows a tri-core.
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 8, 2007
    #7
  8. Nighthawk

    Murray Symon Guest

    Yes, I agree.
    I was speaking more for the mass-market retail chain numbers-driven
    marketing - you know, the Harvey Leeming mailer type of thing.
     
    Murray Symon, Nov 8, 2007
    #8
  9. Nighthawk

    impossible Guest

    Well let's not get carried away with the kudos to AMD here -- if the goal is
    to fab a quad-core, then a tri-core is a mistake. But yes, the AMD quad-core
    design is very different from Intel's, and -- if they ever manage to get
    some out the door -- the performance benchmarks will be interesting. Since
    there are already both AMD and Intel dual-core processors on a par with the
    first-generation Intel quad cores, it would be shocking if the AMD Phenom
    weren't a significantly better performer than that. But pricing, I think,
    will be everything, because Intel's second-generation quads will easily grab
    the performance honors again.
     
    impossible, Nov 8, 2007
    #9
  10. Nighthawk

    thingy Guest

    8 cores will be arriving at that time....so either Intel keeps up with
    producing "old" dual cores and builds more fabs, or drops the duals in
    order to make 8 core cpus in those fabs.....since the die will be
    smaller, I cant see them continuing with dual core that long....there
    should be an Intel road map somewhere showing this....

    So maybe for some
    yep, cores are not going to get that much faster in terms of Ghz....so
    games are going to have to get more SMP aware if they want to run better...

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Nov 8, 2007
    #10
  11. Nighthawk

    thingy Guest

    AMD's new server quad core is a damp squib....and AMD already seems to
    be talking about price/performance for its new cpus and not about being
    the "dog's bollocks for l33tz gamers"....read in "what we have now
    really sucks" but "what we are launching wont suck so bad"........

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Nov 8, 2007
    #11
  12. Nighthawk

    impossible Guest

    I don't know about your "damp squib" analogy. AnandTech benchmarked the
    Phenoms at about 115% of the dual-core Opterons -- which isn't much, I'll
    grant you, but it's not exactly standing still either. As I say, Intel has
    it all over AMD now at the upper end of the performance charts, and that
    undoubtedly hurts AMD because it necessarily lower there margins across the
    board, all the time. But for consumers this seems ok to me.
     
    impossible, Nov 8, 2007
    #12
  13. Nighthawk

    thingy Guest

    URL? though I'll go dig at AnandTech anyway.

    15% is good but not a huge biggee...unless its the same price or only 5%
    more....if its got a 20 or 50% markup....no way.

    For "damp squib" I was talking about the AMD Server CPU and not
    necessarily the desktop CPU. I mean it got announced, we looked at it
    and declined to buy any, 2 weeks from now we are going to be ordering
    the Intel 7xxx series Xeons in a Dell R900....the Dell R905 with the
    "new" Opterons is not even shipping as yet....probably looking at 7
    boxes....thats 28 cpus AMD didnt get to sell...

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Nov 9, 2007
    #13
  14. Nighthawk

    impossible Guest

    impossible, Nov 9, 2007
    #14
  15. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    That is like saying that the Celeron was a mistake. Was it? You
    don't get all CPUs coming out all 100%. Where do you think lower spec
    CPUs come from?
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 9, 2007
    #15
  16. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    From everything I have read 'damp squib' is harsh. We already know
    that due to the architecture they will scale up very well.
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 9, 2007
    #16
  17. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    Not so, and they are an easy drop-in upgrade to previous Opterons.
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 9, 2007
    #17
  18. Nighthawk

    impossible Guest

    I believe I made exactly that point earlier -- except, yes, I think these
    can all be properly classified as mistakes rather than examples of
    engineering genius. The real test, I suppose, would be to find out if Intel
    ever actually had a specific Celeron fabrication process -- or did they just
    accumulate these chips as a by-product of imperfect Pentium fabs? Same for
    any of the lower-spec chips that have come out of Intel and AMD over the
    years. That's not a commentary on the value of those products in the
    marketplace. But just because chip vendors don't market a line of "mistakes"
    doesn't mean that's not what they sometimes sell.
     
    impossible, Nov 9, 2007
    #18
  19. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Guest

    It is well known this is what happens. 'Mistakes' isn't the right
    word. Perhaps one can call them 'seconds', chips that don't run
    reliably at higher speeds are sold as slower ones, chips with
    imperfect cache sold as lower-spec chips - Athlon / Duron and Pentium
    / Celeron, etc.
     
    Nighthawk, Nov 10, 2007
    #19
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